By Peter Hemminger

For some unfathomable reason Gomez has always been labeled a blues band. This has led to many traditionalists writing off the group as too experimental, and scared off many who simply don’t like the blues. Unfortunate really, because Gomez play the blues only in the same sense Tom Waits plays the blues–there are definitely elements, but it’s hardly the definitive description.

There’s no one dominant element to Gomez’s sound. They’ve incorporated everything from fuzzed up garage guitars to dub and electronic influences at one point or another, and somehow it always sounds like no one else. That’s a difficult task in a band with three strong vocalists and songwriters. Where some other acts might fracture and put out what would amount to three solo EPs on a single disc, Gomez never sound anything less than coherent.

Split the Difference is a varied album–in turns noisy, melodic, boisterous and subdued. Above all else it is the sound of a band who truly enjoy making music. It’s an admitted fact Gomez makes albums strictly for their own pleasure, but that shouldn’t stop anyone else from getting pleasure out of listening to this album.